November 24, 2018

"She takes pills for three months, the pills make her unbelievably obtuse, and the obtuseness then defines itself as mental health! It’s like blindness defining itself as vision. 'Now that I’m blind, I can see there’s nothing to see.'"

I've been reading "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen.

27 comments:

rhhardin said...

Obtuseness is the number one health problem in America.

mezzrow said...

I plowed through it almost immediately after 9/11, as I was traveling a lot, and the internet was not what it is today. To me, it was and always will be a very dark novel read in a very dark time. Can't say it left me glowing with hope.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Blogger rhhardin said...

Obtuseness is the number one health problem in America.


"Morbidly Obtuse"

tcrosse said...

rhhardin said...
Obtuseness is the number one health problem in America.

The problem is acute.

Fernandistein said...

The problem is acute.

That's right.

Obtuseness is the number one health problem in America.

47.5% of adults felt obtuse some of the time or all of the time, whereas 100% of a-dolts were obtuse all the time but didn't realize it so they're happy and disinterested in divisive politics.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@ Fernand

"My wife has acute angina-- thank God-- the rest of her aint much to look at"

Francisco D said...

Perhaps the acute analytical thinking of conservative and libertarians here is balanced by the obtuseness of progressives.

Sometimes it makes this blog interesting. Sometimes it becomes predictable and tedious. YMMV.

Sebastian said...

"obtuseness then defines itself as mental health"

OK, Franzen, but that's easy.

Now try,

"He takes pills for three months, the pills make him unbelievably more dysphoric, and the gender dysphoria then defines itself as mental health! It's like blinkers that force everyone else to be blind as well."

wildswan said...

566 pages of comment on Robert Browning who said:

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

I hate Browning and, also, without reading it, this book. I did read The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing which was the same kind of book, only about old-time SJW's, Sixties people. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. And I'll keep it that way. Still, I myself am reading an excellent history of the Dark Ages, an uninterrupted chronicle of squalor and murder caused by social collapse, that I'll probably finish.

PJ57 said...

The Corrections is an ambitious book in which all the characters are unlikeable, in different degrees. Reminded me of my own family of five. I liked the character Denise best, even though she makes a total hash of her personal life. I'll be interested to read the Professor's review.

traditionalguy said...

Denial has been the best way to adapt to getting old. But seeing the grandchildren growing taller than their parents makes obtuseness a better way to adapt.

glenn said...

Was she a marketing manager.?

Big Mike said...

Give praise to obtuseness! Without it there would be no Democrat Party.

chillblaine said...

Hi Ann, thank you, I did give it a look. I am feeling strangely romantic today, so, just going to read poetry all day, anyway, best, here is, "The Solitary Reaper," by Wordsworth. I am a simp for the Romantics. best from me.

roesch/voltaire said...

His wonderful imagination detailed many aspects of society and family, I remember the book as a great accomplishment and kept it from the rummage sale.

mccullough said...

The father of the family is a good man and the most interesting character.

His kids moving east was way too strong a Gatsby allusion. The lesbianism was trite.

Franzen is a kid from the St Louis burbs who wanted to be a New York Writer. Divorced and childless.

If you have an East Coast sensibility, you’ll probably like the book.

rcocean said...

I got started on Connections and liked it, but had to put it down because of "real Life".

Sorta reminds me of "White Noise".

tcrosse said...

There are lots of great "ob" words. Obstinate, obstreperous, obscure, obscene, obdurate, obliterate, et. al. Any objections?

William Chadwick said...

I thought the headline quote might be about Hllary Clinton.

Luke Lea said...

It is a good novel. I bet you enjoy it.

Fernandistein said...

I know a couple of crazy people; the pills reduce the observability of her objectionable obnoxiousnesses and obstructionisms with minimal obnubilation or obtundity, but don't obviously obturate his obstreperously obtruding into peoples' cars to obtain cigarettes despite his relatives' obtestations.

TML said...

I quit about halfway in. Couldn't take it any more. Too aware of itself as a work of serious fiction.

RK said...

I read it as obese. Huh? Nevermind.

tcrosse said...

Fernandistein has been hitting the dictionary, obviously.

Tank said...

I enjoyed it, but thought he ran out of gas at the end.

Kevin Dillon said...

There are too many “greatest threats” out there. They all ain’t that great.

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